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  • Assembly Process Automation - Simplifying Complex Tasks



    Published On: 02/03/15

    Assembly Process Automation refers to the use of machines and automated devices to perform the various tasks in an assembly line or cell. Instead of moving each and every part manually, it is much feasible to get it done by an automated system like mechanical robots. This not only reduces the time to market, but also let businesses save on the labor costs. For instance, in a car manufacturing industry, the different parts of the car such as engine, hood, wheels, called sub-assemblies, are created at different workstations. These parts on the completion are then moved by the automated machines and robots to a single workstation for assembling the pieces together and creating the final luxury automobile. Food processing plants and medical research facilities often use automated assembly processes in areas where human contact is unsafe or could cause contamination of products.

    The assembly operations are quite complex in nature. They involve a number of tasks and phases which include acceptance or rejection of parts, fastening, labeling, inspection, packaging and final preparation. The robotic machines smartly perform all these tasks under the supervision of humans. Since, the products can be misaligned on the assembly line or chosen incorrectly, manual intervention is always required to keep a watch on it. However, most of these systems that are professionally developed and validated are of high precision and cause the least amount of errors in the assembly line. High precision assembly processes require the process parameters to be fine-tuned in order to achieve optimal performance such as cycle time and First Time Through (FTT) rate.

    There are various advantages of assembly process automation. The first one is that it eliminates the errors and uncertainly. As said before, a thoroughly planned automation system can work with repeated accuracy, close to 100%. Mistakes can result in expensive deductions from a company's balance sheet and where there is manual work, the error is sure to happen.  A person can be careless but not a machine, not even it is biased or has personal tensions. This is great for medical equipment industries where the inaccuracy in measurement and readings are not bearable at all. The second reason is the safety. The mechanical robots are made of tough materials that can withstand high pressure and heat. Also, they are not affected by the hazardous environment, but humans do get affected. For example, in the medical industry, they are exposed to the dangers of being contaminated while handling toxic chemicals. So, such systems provide safety for the labor too.

     

    The assembly automation systems also improve the economic status of the businesses. These machines are a one-time expensive investment that yields the desired results after implementation. These systems are usually flexible in nature and can adapt easily to the changing product designs, which usually keeps happening. Moreover, it reduces the need if workers and saves labor costs to a large extent. It is always said that a well developed infrastructure is must for every industry. Be it a small retail, office or big production lines, automated systems always help keep tasks moving smoothly without any disruption.




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